Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Fauci Boogeyman


At the Senate hearing, Fauci responded to Paul with what the NIH has maintained is a technically correct answer: that the institute never funded gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

But there remained one big sticking point. The experiment that was indirectly funded could actually have been classified as gain-of-function, according to several experts. That doesn’t imply that the research was bad or that EcoHealth experiments were necessarily too risky. It was a disagreement about terminology. But the flames of a conspiracy theory were fanned.

Right-wing commentators seized on the technical argument over a scientific definition to reach an absurd conclusion: that the NIH had directly funded the source of the pandemic, and that Fauci lied to the American public. Or as Tucker Carlson so incorrectly and ridiculously put it on Fox News in May: “The guy in charge of America’s response to COVID turns out to be the guy who funded the creation of COVID.”

Again, I must repeat: This is untrue.

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